A bad backup is worse than no backup at all…

A bad backup is worse than no backup at all…

Some years ago, I received a phone call from a supplier asking me whether I could help out one of his other clients.  It appeared that the client – let’s call him Mr Smith – had recently parted company with his Internet Hosting Company after his site had been down for a few days and that, on restore, had been an old version.  The web part of the site was easily restored from his web designer’s backup, but there was no up to date database backup with the web host.  However, Mr Smith had a CDROM that contained, I was assured, database backups that he had taken and would I be able to restore them?

I asked Mr Smith to forward me a copy of the CDROM, and attempted to load the most recent backup data in to one of my development database servers.   It started well, then failed after a few tables.  The same story was repeated for each backup file on the disc.  I phoned Mr Smith and explained the situation, and loaded as much of the backup in to the new database as I could.  Fortunately, the missing tables were relatively small and contained no customer data – we were able to manually reconstruct the tables from data that Mr Smith had at his office.  The customer data was a few days old, but we were again able to bring it up to date over a few days from payment records.

When we finally had the site up and running again, the first thing we did was, unsurprisingly, take a backup.  The second thing we did was ensure the backup loaded back on to a database server. And finally, we sorted a regular regime out for Mr Smith that also included checking his backups every now and again – after all, patching the database up had cost him real money in terms of my time and the time of his staff.

He had been convinced that he had a good backup on that CDROM; and that false sense of security made him more comfortable than he would have been had he no backup at all.  Many people take occasional backups of different parts of their computer, store the backups on badly labelled DVDs or USB sticks, and never check them. But they’re convinced that they are safely backed up.

Don’t fall in to that trap – an unlimited online backup account from BeBackedUp will help you have an up to date and accessible backup when you most need it.

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